Eminem Nearly Died After Taking 'Equivalent of 4 Bags of Heroin' Before Elton John Got Him Clean, New Book Alleges

A new biography of Eminem is out, and it includes some harrowing tales of his addiction and his recovery. The rapper is known for his confessional lyrics, especially when it comes to his own dependency on opiates. In Not Afraid: The Evolution of Eminem by Anthony Bozza, he reveals how far it went and close he was to death.

Not Afraid came out just last month, and fans are already picking through the most shocking details in it. When it comes to drug use, the book pulls no punches, revealing that Eminem was taking as many as "30 Vicodin a day" before he got clean. For that, he credits help from another celebrity addict in recovery, Elton John.

"As a fellow musical superstar with nearly 30 years of sobriety under his belt, Elton John was the perfect mentor to help guide Marshall," Bozza wrote.

In one of the climactic scenes of the book, Bozza described a near-overdose when Eminem took the equivalent of "four bags of heroin" in 2007. He was rushed to the hospital and was about two hours away from death when he was treated, doctors said.

Bozza's book traces Eminem's life from the beginning, starting with his tumultuous early life in Detroit as Marshall Mathers. The working-class high school dropout became an unlikely success in a genre dominated by African-American performers, but found fame just as dangerous as poverty when he fell into habitual drug use. Bozza wrote that Eminem "nearly died from the side effects of success."

"Fame hit me like a f—ing ton of bricks," Eminem added himself.

Bozza's book also focuses on the relationship between Eminem and John, who just released his own confessional autobiography a few weeks ago. John reportedly became Eminem's sponsor in his recovery program, in spite of their differences early on.

"The two started on a program of weekly check-ins and grew very close," Bozza wrote.

Eminem and John performed a duet at the Grammys in 2001, to the surprise of audiences, who thought Eminem's homophobic lyrics would have made such a collaboration impossible. However, Eminem later said that the issue never even came up.

"I didn't know he was gay," he said in a 2004 interview, according to the Daily Mail. "I didn't really care."


Their friendship has flourished ever since, and John, for his part, respects Eminem's songwriting, in spite of his violent language.

Not Afraid: The Evolution of Eminem is available now wherever books are sold.